Labor welcomes the Clean Energy Council’s endorsement of Labor’s position on the Renewable Energy Target, which will secure certainty for the sector and protect thousands of jobs.
Labor’s position, now supported by the CEC, is that there is a pathway that secures a growing renewable energy sector and supports jobs in the aluminium and other emissions intensive, trade exposed sectors. Labor will do everything possible to protect jobs today and secure new jobs for the future.
Labor believes there is a way forward within our stated parameters:
- No changes to the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme;
- Consider providing full exemption to EITE sectors from the LRET;
- Minimal changes to the LRET in the interest of restoring bipartisanship;
- Any changes must ensure sustainable investment; and
- Any agreement must be endorsed by both leaders of both major parties in the interest of ensuring long term certainty for the renewable energy industry.
Before the election, Tony Abbott promised not to touch the Renewable Energy Target. After the election, he destroyed bipartisan support for the RET.
Investor confidence has been smashed by Tony Abbott’s decision to walk away from his previous support for renewable energy – investment in renewables has plummeted by 70 per cent since he became Prime Minister.
Labor has always been prepared to work with the Government to return certainty to the sector and protect jobs.
However, like the Clean Energy Council, Labor completely rejects the Abbott Government’s position of a 40 per cent cut to the RET, which would decimate jobs and put our secure economic future at risk.
Greg Hunt’s statement that negotiations on the RET will involve “no preconditions”, and Julie Bishop’s support for the existing scheme in Lima last week, demonstrates a considerable back down from the Government’s previous stated position of a 40 per cent cut.
The Clean Energy Council’s position on the RET shows the Abbott Government is all alone with its ideological and backward views on renewable energy.
Labor remains committed to a strong and sustainable renewable energy sector, and we remain open to further discussions with the Government.
But we will not be party to any policy that cripples the renewable energy industry. The onus is on the Government to show its willing to support this industry and the 24,000 people it employs.
The ball is in Tony Abbott’s court. He can take this seriously, or he can keep putting billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector at risk.
THURSDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2014
MEDIA CONTACTS: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
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